ISRAELI EMBASSY ATTACKS SA'S GOVERNING PARTY, THE ANC
The Israeli Embassy in South Africa has issued a statement attacking the governing party of South Africa for its support of the Palestinian people. The Embassy claims that the ANC's support of Palestine is anti-Semetic and that the ANC is abusing the word "Apartheid" when the ANC uses it to describe Israeli policies against the indigenous Palestinians. Click here for more info.
TONY LEON ON THE DA'S PROPAGANDA TRIP TO ISRAEL
Former leader of South Africa's opposition party, the DA's Tony Leon, writing in the Business Day, suggests that the DA pilots “an alternative foreign policy”. Shamefully, he motivates that the DA should be putting business relations with Israel and other regimes ahead of human solidarity. Leon states said: “with significant budgets and investment destinations now under its control, the DA could start to demand that both our trading interests and the metropolitan economies — not outdated struggle solidarity — drive our international engagements." Tony Leon further reduced the DA's meetings with the mayor of Taipei and the prime minister of Israel as merely "affronting the politically correct.” Leon, in the same article attacks South Africa's ANC governing party's solidarity with the Palestinian people calling it “obtuse”. Solidarity with the Palestinian people (and all other oppressed peoples) by the majority of South Africans and the governing party, is not a favor but a duty. We were once the beneficiaries of support from political parties who made solidarity, human rights and internationalism as the principles driving their foreign policy. Click here for more info.
THE DA'S ISRAELI BIASED TRIP
Speaking to the DailyMaverick the Israeli Ambassador confirmed that his Embassy was informed of the DA opposition party's Israel trip over a month ago and that his Embassy facilitated meetings for the DA with Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu & Israeli politician Isaac Herzog. On the other hand, the Palestinian embassy issued a statement confirming that it was never informed of the DA trip and only learnt of it when the Israeli ambassador tweeted about it. The DA's publication of email and communications suggest that the DA was never serious about meeting Palestinians and that the trip was a mere junket. For example, with less than 10 days before their trip, the organizers of the DA Israeli propaganda visit decided to make contact with Palestinians to arrange a meeting with President Abbas. Less than 10 days notice to try and request a meeting with the President of another country and no attempt at meeting with any other Palestinian political party or fully representative civil soceity body (like the BDS National Committee - the broadest Palestinian civil society coalition) is either a show of ignorance of diplomatic protocol or an indication of one's lack of interest in being neutral. The DA email correspondence makes the contact information of everyone available (including cellphone numbers) except the details of the person who was communicating on behalf of the DA. Its unclear whether it was a DA member or a member of the Israeli lobby that was communicating on behalf of Maimane and his delegation to Israel.
TV DEBATE: DA & BDS SOUTH AFRICA ON ISRAEL
[UPDATE AND WRAP UP] WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT - MMUSI MAIMANE'S DA TRIP TO ISRAEL
The recent delegation of the DA (South Africa's opposition party) to Israel included Alan Fischer (see picture above of Fischer together with Mmusi Maimane and Israeli politician Isaac Herzog). Fisher is the Cape Town coordinator of Fairplay SA - a joint venture of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies and the SA Zionist Federation established to combat, according to Fisher himself
: “the assault against Israel’s legitimacy being waged by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”
As a journalist has pointed out
, the inclusion of an Israeli lobbyist with a sworn allegiance to one of the parties in the conflict flies directly in the face of the DA's claim of being impartial and "makes for inconvenient explaining for a party feigning neutrality on the conflict." The cover up provided by the DA, in an official statement, that
In the 1980s during the boycott against Apartheid some politicians came — against our wishes and violated the boycott — to sign business deals, on private tourist visits, and on so-called, “fact-finding missions”. They came at the invitation of Apartheid South Africa's, often privately-run, propaganda machinery. Like the DA and Maimane, in 1985 the UK’s David Cameron was given, as an “upcoming young leader”, a similar fully-funded holiday propaganda junket visit to Apartheid South Africa to come look, listen and learn.
Anti-apartheid activists condemned Cameron's propaganda visit to Apartheid SA but he and the Conservative Party justified it claiming that he wanted to “see for himself” and that it was a "fact-finding mission”. Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party (like the DA today with regard to Israel), was opposed to sanctions against Apartheid SA. The trip by Cameron was funded and organised by Derek Laud who was employed by Strategy Network International (SNI) - an organization created, similar to FairPlay SA, to oppose the boycott of Apartheid SA.
That the DA travelled to Israel on a pro-Israel propaganda trip is now obvious. What is worrying is that both in appearance and substance the DA has adopted a clear, non-neutral, pro-Israel position. See article on Tony Leon alongside and see article on Mmusi Maine and his condemnation of UNESCO below.
DA'S MMUSI MAIMANE WRONGLY ATTACKS SA'S SUPPORT FOR UNESCO RESOLUTION ON JERUSALEM'S HOLY SITES
Mmusi Maimane, speaking to the Business Day, has claimed that “the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) passed a resolution recently that Christians and Jews had no historical claim on Jerusalem.”
This claim by Maimane is not only utterly false but a regurgitation of the official Israeli propaganda line. The UNESCO resolution that Maimane is referring to, in fact, affirmed: “the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions.”
Israeli government officials falsely claimed at the time, as Maimane is now also falsely claiming, that the UNESCO resolution denies a Jewish connection to the historical sites, which includes the Western Wall, despite no explicit language in the motion suggesting such denial.
The UNESCO resolution, rightfully, criticized Israel’s aggressive actions in and around East Jerusalem (Palestine) and in particular the al-Aqsa mosque compound among other historical and holy sites. Israel has increased illegal activity in East Jerusalem encroaching on religious sites and denying access to Palestinian Christian and Muslim worshipers, including free access to Al Aqsa compound.
In 2015 Israel issued a banning order preventing Palestinian men under the age of 50 from entering the Al Aqsa mosque compound.. Maimane has tweeted a photo of himself at the Al Aqsa mosque compound in an attempt to cover up his propaganda trip but his silence on Israel’s denial of access to worshipers to that mosque is deafening (see photo above).
Palestinian Christians face similar restrictions to their holy sites by the Israeli regime. For example, Bethlehem, the historic birthplace of Jesus Christ is located in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The city today, one of the holiest sites for Christians, has been cut off from its sister city Jerusalem by Israel's illegal 8m high Apartheid Wall and illegal Jewish only settlements. Maimane and the DA's silence on Israel oppression of the Palestinian Christian community speaks volumes.
The UNESCO resolution that Maimane condemns the ANC and South African Government for having supported reads: "[UNESCO] strongly disapproves the ongoing Israeli illegal excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and a separation wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron, that harmfully affects the integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship, and asks Israel, the occupying Power, to end these violations in compliance with provisions of relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions". The UNESCO resolution was clearly not unfair or inappropriate. In fact, Maimane and the DA's condemnation of UNESCO, the South African Government and the ANC for passing that resolutions is unfair, inappropriate and another indication of the DA's pro-Israel bias.
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